Maryland Comptroller publishes list of top tax evaders

The Maryland Comptroller's office has published a list of the state's top tax evaders, who owe the state a combined $15.7 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.

The list includes 25 individuals and 25 businesses who owe the most in overdue taxes and who have not responded to the liens filed against them, according to the Comptroller's office. The lists, available on the Comptroller's website, aims to get them to pay by publicizing their names and how much they owe the state.

"These are not people simply down on their luck and unable to pay," said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, in a statement. "These are people who have chosen to take advantage of the benefits of this great state while thumbing their noses at the taxpayers who fulfill their legal obligations."

The initiative, called Caught in the Web, lists names for six months. Since it started in 2000, the program has helped the Comptroller's office collect more than $43.3 million from delinquent taxpayers whose names were listed.

In an effort to recoup unpaid money, the Comptroller's office also can garnish wages; block renewals of business, occupation and driver licenses; prevent vehicle registration renewals; and intercept tax refunds.

Individuals and businesses are added to the list if they fail to pay up or contact the state about starting a payment plan. The Comptroller's office notifies the individuals and businesses before including them on the list.

sarah.gantz@baltsun.com

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